Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
No one is prophet in his homeland
He departed from there and came to his native place ….When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Mk 6,1-6
When I was a little boy I lived in Sieci, a town in the Tuscany countryside along the Arno river, before it enters into Florence. At that time, at Sieci, the notables of the town were the parish priest, the pharmacist, the station master and my mother, the teacher who taught the reading, the writing and the arithmetic to several generations of people. Because she was tall and imposing, the inhabitants of Sieci called her “the big school-teacher” and, as the consequence , for all the people I was the son of the big school-teacher. Then I grew, I became an engineer and, because of my profession, I travelled a lot around the world, but still today, when I return to Sieci to go to visit my parents who are resting in the town cemetery, for the elderly – who at those times were boys with me – I am always ”the son of the big school-teacher”. The same thing happened to Jesus who, while in Capernaum, Bethsaida and in the other towns of the Galilee had become a public character and performed many miracles, in Nazareth he was and he has always been the carpenter’s son. So when he came back and he narrated his parables which reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom of the heaven, the people, although being admired, wondered where the carpenter’s son acquired all that wisdom. In Nazareth, Jesus never raised the faith which generated in other towns, and, for this reason, he has been not able to perform there many miracles, which result from the combination of the divine power of the Lord with the faith of the people who address to him. Jesus has always been saddened by this situation, not because he desired recognitions in his hometown, but because he was disappointed not to be of help to those who knew from the childhood and not to be able to heal them in the body and in the spirit, as he did in the entire Palestine. This sorrow of Jesus makes us feeling him very human and very close, but he remains for us the Son of God and God himself. Perhaps nowhere else, as in Nazareth, the two natures, human and divine, were in him so distinct and separate. For us, however, they are not, and every day we continue to be the subject of his providence, of his grace and of his healings, inner as well as physical.